As evidenced by the Brock Turner defenders who whined that a talented young man was being unfairly punished for twenty minutes of drunk action, our society is still unable to grasp this whole ‘consent’ thing. Frankly, it doesn’t seem all that complicated to us, but there never seems to be a shortage of rapists claiming that consent is “complicated.” We also have the victim blamers who vilify survivors. And then there are those who are quietly complicit in rape culture— quiet unless they’re whining about having to receive consent training.
So, in order to demystify this ‘highly confusing’ topic, people have done their best with drawings, videos, essays, and tweets to spell it all out for us. And one woman’s most recent attempt is gold.
Alice Brine, a comedian from New Zealand, demonstrated the problematic nature of the “she’s asking for it” argument by likening sexual assault to robbery.
The post reads:
I’m gunna start going home with random very drunk guys and stealing all of their shit. Everything they own. It won’t be my fault though… they were drunk. They should have known better. I’ll get away with it 90% of the time but then when one brave man takes me to court over it, I’ll argue that I wasn’t sure if he meant it when he said ‘no don’t steal my Audi.’ I just wasn’t sure if he meant it. I said ‘Can I please steal your Gucci watch?’ He said ‘no’ but I just wasn’t sure if he meant it. He was drunk.He brought this on himself. You should have seen how he was dressed at the club, expensive shirts and shoes. What kind of message is he sending with that!? I thought he wanted me to come and steal all of his shit. He was asking for it. When he said ‘no’ to me taking everything he owned I just didn’t know if he meant it. ‘No’ isn’t objective enough, it could mean anything.
Come on, guys, there’s a grey area! It’s complicated! We all know what an expensive watch and dress shoes mean— let’s not be naïve, right???
Bravo, Alice. Bravo.
Facebook can’t get enough of the perfect analogy— Brine’s post has been shared nearly 40,000 times in two days.
Some commenters said the example could even be taken a step further.
And recognized that the analogy was powerful, but still doesn’t full describe the hypocrisy and absurdity of victim blaming.
But hopefully, this will clear up all that confusion!
Bye, victim blamers. Thanks for playing.